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Rose Colored Gaming has released another reproduction of a retro Nintendo game. They're now selling a custom cartridge of Earthbound 0, originally released in Japan as Mother on the NES way back in 1989.
Mother tells the story of Ninten, a 12-year-old boy living in America. Ninten becomes Earth's unlikely hero when an alien race begins to invade. He must travel the world with his friends to collect the Eight Melodies, a song that is key to defeating the alien menace. It shares a lot of DNA with sequel Mother 2 (released here as Earthbound), such as first-person combat, the alien invasion plotline, and the modern-day setting.
Nintendo planned to release Mother in North America and fully localized the game to English. However, they decided the NES game wouldn't be worth launching here due to the SNES' imminent launch. Some years later, a group of fans called Demiforce acquired a prototype cartridge and turned it into a ROM that they dubbed Earthbound Zero.
"We’re obviously using the English ROM, but it’s fused with the original Japanese play mechanics," says Rose Colored Gaming of their reproduction cartridge (via Joystiq). "Which is to say it’s harder then the US version that we never had, but were supposed to get."
The cartridges are beautiful. They're painted scarlet with the title etched into the shell. A metal Earth medallion is embedded in the center. A rear warning label gives the whole production a touch of authenticity. The cartridge is accompanied by a plastic case with original, retro-style cover art.
This is the second reproduction released by Rose Colored Gaming. The first was a bundle of Zelda: Goddess of Wisdom and Parallel Worlds, two fan-modified ROMS of the SNES adventure The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
"We’re currently out of stock, but will be making more ASAP! Unlike the Zelda sets, we plan to produce as many of these as possible for as long as possible."
The cartridges would technically be considered piracy if you don't happen to own the Japanese version of the game. However, I'd imagine that fact doesn't faze a lot of you. I'm not sure Nintendo has a right to be mad or surprised about this reproduction, though, considering their total indifference towards officially releasing Earthbound 0/Mother in the West.